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The Peter Principle

"In a hierarchy, every employee tends to rise to his level of incompetence."
Laurence J. Peter

Yesterday The Diplomand had this to say about the stellar efforts of the UN in Southeast Asia,

Well, dear friends, we're now into the tenth day of the tsunami crisis and in this battered corner of Asia, the UN is nowhere to be seen -- unless you count at meetings, in five-star hotels, and holding press conferences.
What's the UN's reward for it's heal dragging incompetence? The Peter Principle dictates that they be promoted, and that's just what has happened.
JAKARTA, Indonesia (AP) -- Secretary of State Colin Powell said Thursday the United States is still taking a wait-and-see attitude before pledging more cash to tsunami relief, but is helping in other ways such as easing restrictions on military cooperation with Indonesia.

"I think it's prudent to be careful with these numbers," Powell said at a news conference following an international summit on relief coordination.

At the meeting, he announced that the U.S.-led group of countries that organized initial relief operations will turn its work over to the United Nations.

President Bush had set up the initial relief organization outside the world body's large bureaucracy. The Bush administration is sometimes suspicious of the U.N. bureaucracy, but had insisted that the separate group of nations was not at odds with the world body.

Good news for UN bureaucrats with really long titles, bad news for people in Southeast Asia who need water, food, medical attention, etc...

Comments (5)

I followed that link about ... (Below threshold)

I followed that link about the UN. This was simply a site for anti-UN screeds. I think that you need to find a more even handed source for reporting on UN activities if you want to make a case against its behavior. It reminds me of a Calvin cartoon where he writes a school report that consists of a few facts that he made up. Your hatred of the UN makes you unable to accurately discern what it does well and what it does poorly.

Or maybe your love of the U... (Below threshold)

Or maybe your love of the UN makes you unable to accurately discern what it does well and what it does poorly, Neil.

I work for a major U.S. rai... (Below threshold)

I work for a major U.S. railroad.

Any doubts about the Peter Principle were long ago put to rest.

I wonder if "NeilS" read th... (Below threshold)

I wonder if "NeilS" read the part on Diplomad's site where it explains that he is currently over in one of the affected countries right now, helping relief efforts.

As a former civil servant, ... (Below threshold)

As a former civil servant, I can say that the Peter Principle manages to work well enough everyday, and it's not just fair when Liberals try to apply analogies about "failing upward" to Condoleeza, Goss, or President Bush.






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